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Customs duty full exemption for all imported drugs&Food for Special Medical Purposes for personal use for treatment of all Rare Diseases

Newdelhi:30/3/23:The Central Government has given full exemption from basic customs duty on all drugs and Food for Special Medical Purposes imported for personal use for treatment of all Rare Diseases listed under the National Policy for Rare Diseases 2021 through a general exemption notification.

In order to avail this exemption, the individual importer has to produce a certificate from Central or State Director Health Servicesor District Medical Officer/Civil Surgeon of the district.Drugs/Medicines generally attractbasic customs duty of 10%, while some categories of lifesaving drugs/vaccines attract concessional rate of 5% or Nil.

While exemptions have already been provided to specified drugs for treatment of Spinal Muscular Atrophy or Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, the Government has been receiving many representations  seeking  customs duty relief for drugs and medicines used in treatment of  other Rare Diseases.Drugs or Special Foods required for the treatment of these diseases are expensive and need to be imported. It is estimated that for a child weighing 10 kg, the annual cost of treatment for some rare diseases, may vary from ₹10 lakh to more than ₹1 crore per year with treatment being lifelong and drug dose and cost, increasing with age and weight.

This exemption willresult in substantial cost savings and provide much needed relief to the patients.

The Government has also fully exemptedPembrolizumab (Keytruda) used in treatment of various cancers from basic customs duty.

Click here for Gazette Notification to this effect.

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.
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